tivo-bolt-packaging1

Photo via jccfin on TiVo Community. Thanks!

Just seven months after launch, TiVo has gone back to the drawing board on Bolt pricing. While we don’t yet know every detail, based on new packaging Best Buy shipped out prematurely, the included year of TiVo Bolt service is no more.

New white box:
TiVo service subscription is required and sold separately.

Prior black box:
First year of of TiVo Annual service included.

new-bolt-pricing

TiVo’s likely goals are to limit potential customer churn (when that first year is up) and to lower the barrier to entry. As such, leaked dealer pricing indicates both the TiVo Bolt 500GB and 1000GB units drop by $100. Of course, this is mostly smoke and mirrors… as, after one year of service, new customers would actually end up paying more, should monthly and annual pricing remain unchanged — which I suspect will be the case, when everything gets official May 2nd.

Fortunately, you have a few days to get in on the original TiVo Bolt and service dealio during what looks to be a ReplayTV-esque transition should you want to roll the dice. $232.40 for the Bolt, with a bundled 12 months of service, is extremely compelling… unless you were holding out for that possible pro-level box next fall.

Patent Trollvi rises…

Yes, the leaks were true. Rovi intends to purchase TiVo.

While TiVo creates amazing products and has successfully deployed their solution to numerous cable operators around the world, beyond patent litigation and licensing, they haven’t found much financial success. Basically, the writing was on the wall. Continue Reading…

fitbit-logoBy way of the USPTO, we learn that Fitbit has applied for Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 trademark protection. So, while Fitbit has beefed up the top end of their fitness tracking line with Alta band and Blaze watch additions this year, it appears they also plan 2016 revisions to their lower and mid-end wearables.

As to potential improvements, Fitbit could conceivably up its plastics game – while effective as a fitness tracker, I’ve always found the bands a bit cheapy – in appearance, feeling, and durability. Further, the charging ports could use some work even if battery life cannot be extended. Although increased time between charges would be a nice-to-have, as well. For me personally, I’d like to see the vibrating activity alerts of Alta make its way down to other devices. What’s on your wish list?

tivo-roamio-ota

After blowing a 2015 holiday launch and abandoning their $1m “Aereo” acquisition, the TiVo Bolt OTA is seemingly shelved as an updated OTA-only Roamio DVR has been announced, featuring a generous 1TB of storage and favorable pricing, running $400 — that’s “all-in” with lifetime service, no recurring fees. Available May 2nd, this larger capacity Roamio OTA includes all the classic features you’d expect and a few new tricks, like commercial SkipMode. Sadly, given the intended audience, the box glaringly lacks newer cord cutter apps like a Sling TV or HBO NOW.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  April 22, 2016 — 7 Comments

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

google-cast

I’ve been alerted that Google Cast technology will be hitting existing Google Fiber television hardware in the very near future… making subscriber’s “cable” TV set-top boxes that much more interesting, as tons of over-the-top Internet audio and video apps become available, via smartphone control, in a far more efficient manner than, say, TiVo’s approach of negotiating development of individual apps like HBO GO. Beyond my trusted source, additional evidence can be found in this Chromecast code snippet, referencing the “Google fiber remote,” and from some beta testers who look to have prematurely spilled the beans.

tivo-bolt-ooh-streaming

As with TiVo’s last software update, version 20.6.1 will primarily resolve additional open issues as the bulk of development and testing cycles are likely reserved for the upcoming OTA-only Bolt variant. So this isn’t exactly the most dramatic or blog-worthy topic and I didn’t really dig deep into what, specifically, this revision provides for Premiere, Roamio, and Mini owners. However, we’d previously been informed this particular update would finally enable TiVo Bolt out-of-home streaming, like Roamio Pro/Plus, to iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones or tablets – a feature notably absent from Bolt at launch, given new under-the-hood transcoding hardware. And this incoming functionality is seemingly confirmed by new TiVo marketing materials (above), indicating owners can “watch shows anywhere on your mobile device.” Assuming, of course, the content isn’t flagged and locked down by your hostile and punitive cable company (i.e. TWC).

20.6.1 begins deployment within the next couple weeks and, if you’d like to be amongst the first in line, register your TiVo units via the just-launched Priority Update Request.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  April 19, 2016 — 4 Comments

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

amazon-echo